A few brief updates on healthcare, Breakfast on the Farm – a fun educational experience and new mapping of cases by town.
A reminder that there is a Food Bank open for residents in all Valley towns on Thursday at the Sundance Base Lodge at Mount Snow. (details below on other dates and locations)
Thank you to everyone who has reached out regarding unemployment and PUA benefits for self-employed. I have submitted all of your information in through the troubleshooting door the legislature was given to highlight constituent issues. Please stay in touch as these funds come in, or if it has been several days since we communicated and nothing has come in. As a reminder, I need this information emailed to email@example.com in order to try and assist:
- last 4 SS #
- date you filed first claim
- Unemployment (UI) or Pandemic Assistance for self employed (PUA)
Hope to see some of you tomorrow morning on our 7 am coffee call.
Coffee with Laura call at 7 am Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You can join that call here:
Meeting ID: 734 376 857 Password: 003089 or by calling mobile
+16465588656,,734376857# US (New York)
+13126266799,,734376857# US (Chicago)
GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT ANNOUNCES SOME ELECTIVE HEALTH CARE PROCEDURES TO RESUME
Governor Phil Scott announced limited elective procedures would resume, which had previously been put on hold as Vermont’s health care system focused on preparing for, and responding to, COVID-19.
The Governor’s decision comes as the state’s modeling continues to show spread of COVID-19 has slowed – thanks to Vermonters’ physical distancing efforts – and the state’s ability to track and trace outbreaks of COVID-19 has become more robust. Health care providers who recommence these procedures have been provided guidance and must meet specific mitigation criteria to protect patients and clinicians from possible infection.
“Our testing and tracing program will allow us to work with our health care providers and hospitals to begin providing some procedures that were put on hold,” said Governor Scott.
Under the Scott Administration’s guidance, health care providers can begin non-essential outpatient clinic visits, diagnostic imaging and outpatient surgeries and procedures if the following steps are taken.
Outpatient clinic visits and diagnostic imaging
Outpatient clinic visits and diagnostic imaging can resume immediately if providers demonstrate they are adhering to physical distancing and relevant CDC guidelines regarding infection control and prevention to maintain a safe environment for patients and staff. Examples of the precautions that should be taken when providing care in both the hospital/facility and clinic settings include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A process to screen patients for COVID-19-related symptoms prior to scheduled procedures.
- A process to screen all staff and essential visitors for COVID-related symptoms prior to entering facility.
- Protective equipment and supplies should be worn and utilized as necessary to ensure staff and patient safety. This may require surgical, N95, KN95, or other equivalent masks and eye-protection goggles.
- All patients and companions must wear mouth and nose coverings (provided by the patient or by the site) when in public areas.
- Patient companions are permitted only if required for direct patient assistance.
- Only individuals who are essential to conducting the surgery or procedure shall be in the surgery or procedure suite or other patient care areas where personal protective equipment (PPE) is required.
- Waiting room chairs must be spaced to require a minimum of six-feet physical distancing.
- Providers must have written procedures for disinfection of all common areas.
- Providers must have signage to emphasize social restrictions (distancing, coughing etiquette, wearing of mouth and nose coverings, hand hygiene) and access to hand sanitizer.
- Providers will comply with guidance issued by relevant professional specialty societies regarding appropriate prioritization of procedures and care issues specific to COVID-19.
- Continue to consider alternative care delivery models, including telemedicine, when appropriate.
- Providers will reevaluate and reassess policies and procedures frequently, based on COVID-19 related data, resources, testing and other clinical information.
Outpatient surgeries and procedures
Providers may also begin to perform outpatient surgeries and procedures that have a minimal impact on inpatient hospital bed capacity and PPE levels, including those performed in the office or ambulatory surgical center. In the case of outpatient surgeries and procedures, providers should adhere to the mitigation requirements for outpatient clinic visits and diagnostic imaging, described above, and put into place the following measures:
- Screening: A process must be in place to screen patients for COVID-19-related symptoms prior to all scheduled procedures (by phone, online, or in-person).
- Testing: COVID-19 testing is required for procedures requiring airway management. Testing should be done as close as possible to the procedure and not to exceed 96 hours prior to the procedure. Patients will be required to self-quarantine between testing and procedure.
- Testing of Health Care Employees: Each provider shall develop and implement a plan for the periodic testing of healthcare workers including nurses, physicians, emergency medical personnel, medical and nursing students, laboratory technicians, pharmacists, hospital volunteers, administrative staff or any other employee who may come in contact with a patient. These plans shall be coordinated with the Vermont Testing Task Force.
- Available Personal Protection Equipment: Each outpatient clinic will be responsible to ensure that it has adequate supplies of PPE, through its own suppliers, for needed examinations or procedures and in the case of a COVID-19 surge. Providers will not rely on state sources or state supply chain for PPE.
- Testing Results: Results of the test should be communicated to the patient prior to arrival at the facility for the outpatient surgery; and facilities and providers should continue to collaborate regionally to determine testing locations and follow Department of Health Advisories regarding location of testing sites and collection of specimens.
Suspension of Operation
If the Vermont Department of Health has determined that a COVID-19 outbreak has occurred and providers cannot safely care for Vermonters in a way that (1) limits the exposure of patients and staff to COVID-19; (2) preserves PPE and ventilators; and (3) preserves inpatient hospital capacity, it will notify and require all providers in the region to return to the standards set out in the executive order issued on March 20, 2020. Depending on the severity of the outbreak, the Vermont Department of Health may require all Vermont providers to return to those standards.
Monday, Governor Scott signed an amendment to Addendum 3 to allow for these procedures, which can be found here https://governor.vermont.gov/content/amendment-addendum-3-executive-order-01-20.
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For more information on:
- COVID-19 health information, guidance and case data, visitwww.healthvermont.gov/covid19.
- The Governor’s actions, visitgovernor.vermont.gov/covid19response.
- The state’s modeling, visit https://dfr.vermont.gov/about-us/covid-19/modeling.
Health Dept. Notice – Face Masks
As the state begins taking measured steps toward re-opening, we should make wearing cloth face coverings a habit to protect one another.
There are certain places Vermonters are now required to wear coverings over their nose and mouth including on public transportation, when visiting medical offices, and some other businesses or organizations.
When should you wear a cloth face covering?
Any time you’re around other people, such as on a trip to the grocery store, pharmacy, or another business.
When don’t you need one?
You don’t need a face covering if you are walking or exercising outside and it’s not too crowded. But bring one in case you encounter other people and stop to chat – Please use your best judgment. You don’t need one at home unless someone is sick.
We all still need to stay at least 6 feet away from people, even when wearing a mask, practice good hand hygiene and follow the state’s Stay Home, Stay Safe guidance.
The advice to wear cloth masks is based on data about how COVID-19 can spread before a person has any symptoms. Wearing a face mask may help keep people from spreading the virus.
Some people should never wear a mask, including children under the age of 2 and anyone who has trouble breathing or can’t remove the mask without assistance.
Medical-grade mask supplies are needed for our health care workers and first responders. Please use cloth or other recommended face coverings for yourself and loved ones.
Find more information visit: https://www.healthvermont.gov/covid19.
For our full guidance on face masks, including how to make one, visit: https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID-19-VDH-mask-guidance.pdf
Need to buy a face covering? Visit https://vem.vermont.gov/covid19/facecovering
Governor Scott Press Conference:
Following remarks, the Governor and administration officials will be available for questions from members of the media.
Wednesday May 6th at 11:00 a.m.
GENERAL PUBLIC VIEWING:Most Vermont TV and radio stations live broadcast the briefings. The Governor’s media briefing will be available to stream through ORCA Media’s youtube channel, linked here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL-xsDpLCa0iRMj4dQrqum7uoXaQmqeGvT
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions, or if you need assistance navigating government services at (802) 384-0233 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Laura Sibilia
Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, Whitingham